A Western diplomat said his team had decided there were three groups of people President Trump listens to. There is his inner circle of White House advisers containing people like Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; the former investment banker Gary Cohn; and Mr Trump’s right-wing svengali Steve Bannon.
The second group is his cabinet, and their influence varies widely from person to person, reflected in the time they each get with him inside the Oval Office.
The third group is his pre-presidency contacts from New York, and the property and media industries.
So foreign diplomats try to talk to as many people in this group of interlocking circles as they can, in the hope that if these people see the merit in their case, they will convey it to the president. And if the president hears that view enough times, he will believe it.
However, after laying out this elaborate strategy, the Western diplomat confessed, “but then there are those who say the most important thing is to be the last person to talk to him before he makes a decision”.